State Civil Rights Offices
Civil rights laws protect you from unequal treatment, including discrimination in various settings. Knowing what civil rights laws apply to your situation is an initial step in dealing with a civil rights violation.
Many laws at the federal level prohibit discrimination. These often start as federal legislation through acts of the federal government. Examples include the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Fair Housing Act of 1968 (FHA), the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA). Federal civil rights protections also stem from federal court decisions. This includes U.S. Supreme Court decisions.
Besides federal laws, local and state laws prohibit discrimination. Many state laws mirror federal civil rights laws and offer the same protections. State laws may be more extensive. They may provide extra coverage not available at the federal level. For example, some state laws include protection for people identifying as LGBTQ+. If there is no federal recourse for a civil rights violation, you may be able to seek relief at the state level.
Each state has its own division charged with protecting residents' civil rights. These commissions work to end discrimination by enforcing the state's civil rights laws. There can be discrimination in many settings. These include:
- Housing discrimination
- Employment discrimination
- Discrimination in places of public accommodation
- Discrimination in other arenas
There are various bases for discrimination. These include:
- Sex and sexual orientation
- National origin
- Genetic information
- Receipt of income from public assistance programs
Find the link to your state below to learn more about your division's civil rights enforcement and outreach efforts.
Protect Your Civil Rights
Know the civil rights protections available to you. Understand how to address your specific issue by accessing state civil rights offices. Has someone discriminated against you or denied you equal access to services? You can also contact your state's office of the attorney general. Or try the U.S. Department of Justice or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Don't put up with wrongdoing by law enforcement, sexual harassment, or hate crimes.
Want to learn more about your possible claim? Talk to a civil rights attorney who can help you protect your rights.
You Don’t Have To Solve This on Your Own – Get a Lawyer’s Help
Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.
Contact a qualified civil rights attorney to help you protect your rights.